T-shirts now more popular office attire than suits

Businesses are more relaxed over employee office attire, allowing staff to ditch suits for t-shirts, a new study reveals.

British office workers are swapping suits for T-shirts for office attire – and spending less time getting ready for work, according to new research from Printerland.

Less than a fifth of people say they would still wear a suit for work, suggesting that casual clothes are becoming the new office wear as employees embrace comfier alternatives.

A survey of 2,000 office workers reveals that Brits only spend 23 minutes a day on their appearance, one in five spend less than ten minutes getting ready.

The North East are leading the way for casual office attire, with almost half of people opting for a t-shirt or polo shirt instead of traditional shirts or blouses, while those in the North West are sticking with the formal attire – with a third still donning a suit.

Alongside slacking dress codes, workers are spending less time laundering – with one in six happy to wear the same shirt all week.

Nearly half (42 per cent) of people claim to sometimes not wear underwear to work, and 53 per cent of us occasionally don’t bother with socks.

Despite many not putting the effort into their appearance, those surveyed still disapprove of their colleague’s outfits, with 82 per cent who think Ugg boots were inappropriate office wear.

Less than a third (27 per cent) of respondents deem make-up completely unacceptable at work and almost half say that high heels are a big no-no and that beards should be banned.

Catherine Bannan, HR manager at Printerland.co.uk, thinks that wearing casual clothes in the workplace can make people feel more comfortable and thereby increase the productivity and creativity of your staff.

She adds ‘Offices are taking a much more relaxed approach to work attire these days and some say that being in clothes we find comfortable can spark our imagination. Obviously, you might have a meeting with some important clients and so you would want to dress appropriately for that.’

The survey also finds that bosses in Northern Ireland are the strictest when it comes to tattoos and piercings, with over a third of employees told to cover up in the office.

However, the Welsh are the most relaxed, with 57 per cent of staff allowed to show piercings and body art.

Despite spending less time and effort on their appearance, Brits still splash out an average of £397 on their work wardrobe, with the over 55s deemed the biggest spenders.

Further reading on work appearance

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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